Five Tips for Vacations with your Baby
As director of the Treasures child care center at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Shelly Schaffer sees many new parents who arrive at the resort feeling daunted by the new adventure of traveling and vacationing with their little ones. “At Treasures, we understand that traveling with an infant can offer special challenges,” says Schaffer, “and we do everything we can to put both parents and babies at ease.” Schaffer and her staff have years of experience supporting families’ special getaways at Smugglers’, a yearround vacation destination in northern Vermont that has won numerous accolades for its family programming. Schaffer shares a few simple tips below to help parents have a relaxing family vacation with an infant.
1. Think about your “wish list” of priorities when choosing your destination. Are you looking to spend time with your partner? You’ll need to consider what child care services are offered, which could include private sitters and an on site child care center, such as offered at Smugglers’. Thinking about this ahead of time allows you to contact the destination and ask questions prior to arrival, which can help
reduce the stress of setting up child care at an unfamiliar place. Would you like to have convenient laundry services? Infants
can go through a week’s worth of clothing in just a couple of days. Perhaps a condominium setting with in-home washers and dryers would be a much appreciated feature. Would you rather not eat out every night? If so, note whether your destination has lodging with a kitchen or kitchenette. Pre-planning easy meals in your lodging is an almost effortless dinner option if you do not want to eat out each night, and makes it easier to maintain an infant’s routine.
2. Consider the staff at your vacation destination as a resource prior to arrival. When planning a trip with an infant, there are lots of questions that come up, primarily related to keeping baby happy and on a familiar routine. While a destination’s website offers lots of information, it’s reassuring to connect with a knowledgeable staff member at your destination. They can fill you in on what’s available right on property or in the area, and whether you’ll need to pack extras of everything — or nothing! Resort destinations such as Smugglers’ are likely to have stores that stock diapers, wipes and baby food, and rental services for everything from baby carriers to strollers.
3. Plan your route, because “no, we’re not there yet.” Prior to heading off to your destination, it’s useful to map out your stops along the way. Diaper changes or bathroom breaks are often needed at the most inopportune times, so it helps to know where the next rest area is. It may be helpful to start driving during the night, at the time that your infant is usually sleeping. This helps keep fussy babies quiet and can make hours in the car more tolerable, especially if you have other young children unaccustomed to long car rides. If you do leave in the evening, a stay enroute may be necessary, and planning your route can help with identifying potential overnight lodging.
4. Research child-friendly restaurants along your route — not just restaurants that tolerate kids, but those that welcome them! If you’ll be traveling through a mealtime, it can be helpful to look up places to eat before you hit the road. Almost every parent has experienced that embarrassing moment when their child decides to fuss and cry in a setting where loud noises are not necessarily appropriate. By looking ahead into restaurants and other eating options where children are welcome you can avoid this potentially uncomfortable situation and thoroughly enjoy your meal.
5. Relax! You can relax knowing that your pre-vacation preparations have covered all the bases. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your child or children will be.
Following these simple tips from Schaffer will help families make the most of their vacation when traveling with infants; after all, no one wants to return from their vacation needing a vacation!
At Smugglers’ Treasures child care center, Schaffer and her staff provide nurturing care for children six weeks to three years old. The caregivers are specialists in nonrecurring care to help children successfully transition in unfamiliar surroundings. Treasures’ slopeside location in Smugglers’ Resort Village is perfect for parents seeking to enjoy their vacation adventures with the convenience of being
able to check on their little ones. The center’s features include three age-specific playrooms; one-way viewing mirrors for parents to check on their children without play disruption; radiant floor heating for the comfort of little ones crawling and playing; kitchen and laundry facilities; child-sized bathroom facilities; and an attached outdoor play area. Treasures also offers babysitting services.
Article courtesy of Smugglers’ Notch Resort. You can learn more about Smugglers’ Notch Resort and its amenities for infants at www.smuggs.com